Fabulous Girl's Boudoir

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Icons we mourn: J.D. Salinger

J. D. Salinger, who was thought at one time to be the most important American writer to emerge since World War II but who then turned his back on success and adulation, becoming the Garbo of letters, famous for not wanting to be famous, died Wednesday at his home in Cornish, N.H., where he had lived in seclusion for more than 50 years. He was 91.

So, not having been raised in the US of A, I read "Catcher" much later than most of you out there, but I was fortunate to be introduced to Franny and Zooey at a reasonably young age, and it was my favourite book for years, only replaced by Pilgrim, by Timothy Findley, when I was around twenty five (I think). Anyway, it's now number two, but a solid number two. So thanks, J.D.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Shuesday: If you have to get married ... 2

Now these are the ticket. Beautiful and wearable, and with a reasonable heel. I think I'm in love!

Christian Louboutin at Neiman Marcus

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Occasional Baggage Part VI

This seems the perfect bag for late January, early February, to lighten your mood, or for those of you who are fortunate enough to be escaping the drear of winter.

I'd love to see it with a white caftan over a bathing suit, or with an all black winter ensemble - over the knee boots, black coat, snood, etc.

Saffiano, by Prada, at Neiman Marcus


Friday, January 22, 2010

Must haves: Primed and polished

I've fallen hard for this new Chanel nail polish, "Particulière", and will be out and about looking for it here in the next few days (yes I have far, far too much time on my hands). I'll issue another post if I come up empty.

NY Times

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

I don't hear anyone complaining

Viewers who watched CNN’s earthquake coverage this last week were bound to be struck by correspondents who looked a lot less like the usual disheveled examples of those in the profession than like bendable action figures.

You could call it the Anderson Cooper effect. Mr. Cooper has rarely missed an opportunity to showcase his buff physique (as anyone would know if he or she remembers his stripping to a bathing suit to quiz Michael Phelps). But Mr. Cooper isn’t the only CNN correspondent with a self-conscious taste for form-fitting charcoal T-shirts, accessorized with a tiny microphone clipped at the neck.

Looking somewhat sheepish about it, a newly sleek Dr. Sanjay Gupta moved through Port-au-Prince wearing a snug gray T-shirt, his hair styled in the obligatory CNN crop. His colleague Jason Carroll, reporting on Wednesday’s aftershock and looking like a guy who had done 20 quick pushups before going on air, wore a T-shirt so snugly revealing it called into question whether a disaster zone is the place to flaunt one’s gym physique. A spokeswoman for CNN declined to comment, but in journalism, as in most things, old standards of decorum are clearly on the wane.

“We know the rules of what journalists look like have changed a lot,” Ms. Steele said. They have shifted from the military style favored by, say, John Hersey, who was pictured on a United States postage stamp in a combat helmet and uniform. “That’s simply a part of where society in general is going,” she added, referring to the shift away from formality and the hierarchies suggested by wise old owls like Walter Cronkite, with their sandy mustaches, their elbow patches and pipes, toward sexy entertainment news and correspondents with “that international superstar journalist look.”

NY Times


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Shuesday: Like your favourite pair of jeans

I like jeans as much as the next girl - I've been practically living in them for three months now (90% of my wardrobe is in a storage unit on the south coast of England) - but I'm not sure I want denim shoes. Even if Manolo is making them. (Sorry dahling!)

Definitely not into these D&G boots with black lace.

Although if the denim ones just randomly showed up, I'd probably at least try them on ...

At Neiman Marcus


Monday, January 18, 2010

Don't you rain on my parade: The Globes 2010

Yes, the FG loves award shows so much that she stayed up until 3:30 am live streaming the Globes, to bring you this commentary.

Perhaps to remind Hollywood that their lives could be worse (ie, their nation could have been crippled by a major earthquake last week), the gods chose rain for the red carpet this year. The FG thinks that that's a good reason to have a cocktail length dress, or something black and on the fitted side, as back-up, as people like Ginnifer Goodwin, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde and Glenn Close were far happier than, say, Kate Hudson. (Although I'd much rather be any of those girls than KH, despite her super-fun "Cinema Italiano" number that was one of the only good things about Nine.)

Moving on from the weather-related commentary, the dresses were black, or not black. Black, it turns out, can be poorly done, but it is seldom as bad as not-black, poorly done (what was E. Moss thinking?). One could look like a sofa, perhaps at your grandmother's, for example, and being British and dating a Beatle, or being American and married to America's favourite actor, doesn't get you off that particular hook. And, when you're Jennifer Aniston, choose the right shoes and can rock a slit with legs like that, black is the best of all worlds.

The theme, other than black, was clearly asymmetrical necklines or strapless (which sheds interesting light on wedding dress choices). So what did I like? Marion Cotillard always looks lovely, the shoes worked, and the little black slip? I die. Toni Collette looked gorgeous in Elie Saab - gold is great on red-heads and the detailing on the waist-hip area was beautifully slimming, not that she needs it. I can't recall what Perrey Reeves is in, but I really liked her Herve Leger dress. Not totally award-show appropriate, but I liked it. Julia Roberts looked great - comfortable and like she was having a fantastic time. Also the perfect choice for the weather. And Sophia Loren always looks classy and age appropriate - ditto Helen Mirren.

And the dislikes? I thought Cameron Diaz looked strangely hippy in that shiny red (also, where was her jewelry?), there was something wrong with Signorney Weaver's dress, although I can't quite put my finger on it, and while I salute Rose Byrne in general and for wearing purple Lanvin, the brooch on the hip doesn't quite work, and the top of her strapless dress eliminated any cleavage she might have. A plunging neckline would have been a better choice. Drew Barrymore's urchin shoulder and hip accessories took away from her general loveliness - that dress would have been so much better without them. Carey Mulligan is super sweet, but this strapless Nina Ricci doesn't do anything for her either - there's nothing but acres of chest above her girls. I adore Christina Hendricks, but that dress was too much going on and insufficiently fierce. We know she has girls and hips, so don't shove them in our faces and be-ruffle them, flatter them! And I agree with the conventional wisdom that Fergie looked like an upscale bridesmaid. Mariah Carey was clearly seeking attention, 'nuff said.

There were poor shoes aplenty - Kristen Bell, Anna Paquin, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, I'm talking to you. And furthermore, AP, why are you dressing like a 60 year old? You have decades in which to wear sleeves, honey! I liked Tina Fey's shoes, but not with that dress. (They should really make paper dolls after the fact, so we can mix and match.)

The FG particularly enjoyed Chloe Sevigny's hissy fit when the gentleman who escorted her up the stairs stepped on her train. That dress could have been OK, but the total lack of structure/support became grossly apparent when she walked towards the podium to accept her award, and was most distracting/unflattering.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Scottish winter

To none but those who have themselves suffered the thing in body, can the gloom and depression of our Edinburgh winter be brought home. For some constitutions there is something almost physically disgusting in the bleak ugliness of easterly weather; the wind wearies, the sickly sky depresses them; and they turn back from their walk to avoid the aspect of the unrefulgent sun going down among perturbed and pallid mists. The days are so short that a man does much of his business, and certainly all his pleasure, by the haggard glare of gas lamps. The roads are as heavy as a fallow. People go by, so drenched and draggle-tailed that I have often wondered how they found the heart to undress. And meanwhile, the wind whistles through the town as if it were an open meadow; and if you lie awake all night, you hear it shrieking and raving overhead with a noise of shipwrecks and falling houses. In a word, life is so unsightly that there are times when the heart turns sick within a man's inside; and the look of a tavern, or the thought of the warm, fire-lit study, is like the touch of land to one who has been long struggling with the seas.

Edinburgh; Picturesque Notes, Robert Louis Stevenson


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Edinburgh wardrobe: Part 7

The Snood
is back, and seems perfect for this gothic city, as well as for the recent chilly weather. I like this one, in shearling, from Karl Donoghue.


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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Icons we mourn: Miep Gies

Miep Gies, the last survivor among Anne Frank’s protectors and the woman who preserved the diary that endures as a testament to the human spirit in the face of unfathomable evil, died Monday night, the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam said. She was 100.

The British Broadcasting Corporation said Mrs. Gies suffered a fall late last month and died at a nursing home.

“I am not a hero,” Mrs. Gies wrote in her memoir, “Anne Frank Remembered,” published in 1987. “I stand at the end of the long, long line of good Dutch people who did what I did and more — much more — during those dark and terrible times years ago, but always like yesterday in the heart of those of us who bear witness.”

Mrs. Gies sought no accolades for joining with her husband and three others in hiding Anne Frank, her father, mother and older sister and four other Dutch Jews for 25 months in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. But she came to be viewed as a courageous figure when her role in sheltering Anne Frank was revealed with the publication of her memoir. She then traveled the world while in her 80s, speaking against intolerance. The West German government presented her with its highest civilian medal in 1989, and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands knighted her in 1996.

NY Times


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Shuesday: Leaving me flat

Apparently (according to Alexa Chung, Agness Deyn and InStyle UK), these are la dernière mode, but I don't see the appeal, especially with a skirt. You can find them at Paul Smith (where they are on sale!)

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Green is sexy

OK, you've probably already heard about this, and yes, there's a celeb connection, but I like Green is Sexy. It's posts are bite-sized, digestible, and just plain good. What to do with your old cell phone, natural cold remedies, reasons to walk instead of ride, etc., etc. The FG recommends.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

January making you crabby? Eat up!

In case you haven't been reading between the lines at all, the FG loves to cook. Sometimes it's all day extravaganzas - home made bread, fresh pasta, holiday cookies, stews that simmer for hours and include eighteen ingredients just for the stock she's making from scratch. (Actually, it's been a while since she really cooked that way, which has everything to do with the size of her recent kitchens.) More often, it's a few fresh ingredients thrown together at the last minute for something tasty and on the comfort food side of things.

She wasn't entirely sure how this recipe was going to work out, but it included some of her fav ingredients - wine, peppers, lemon - so gave it a shot, and it was /delish/. Highly recommended.

Spicy crab, chilli and lemon pasta


  1. 150g spaghetti or linguine (fresh recommended)
  2. 2 spring onions or baby leeks, finely chopped
  3. ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (live a little, use a whole one)
  4. 200ml white wine (sauvignon blanc from NZ)
  5. Grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
  6. 200g fresh white crab meat (if you can't find fresh, canned is surprisingly good.)
  7. 50g wild rocket (arugula that is, one small bag)


  1. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, drain well, then toss with a little olive oil.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat, add the spring onions or baby leeks and chilli and fry for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the wine and bubble for 1-2 minutes or until reduced slightly. Turn down the heat, add the lemon zest and juice and crab meat, and stir to combine.
  3. Season to taste, then add to the cooked pasta along with the rocket and mix well. Divide between 2 pasta bowls to serve.
It was that easy. Obviously, do your prep ahead, so you can just toss it all together once the pasta's on.


From delicious magazine (you can find a photo of the final here.)


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Shuesday: It's snowing again

So for those of you in a sunny state, or state of mind, or whomever still has any extra dollars to shop the resort collections, this one's for you, courtesy of Chloé (and Saks).


Monday, January 04, 2010

Icons we mourn: The Decade

The NY Times does the comprehensive version of my occasional "Icons we mourn" posting. Can't believe how many have gone in just the past ten years. The ones I'll miss the most:

Katharine Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Paul Newman, John Gielgud, Walter Cronkite, Peter Jennings, Fred Rogers, Ted Kennedy, John Updike, Nina Simone, Oscar Peterson, Richard Avedon, Sydney Pollack, Yves St. Laurent and Natasha Richardson.

And furthermore, Julia Child, Betty Friedan, Brooke Astor, Madeline L'Engle, Anthony Mingella, and William Safire.

In Remembrance


Friday, January 01, 2010

2009 in sentences

The Annual Roundup:

January: Apologies for the delay and the clumping, but I couldn't let these two get away without recognition.

February: First of all, it's clear (or it should be) that we're all scaling back this year. (And aren't we all glad we didn't spend a year of our lives filming Confessions of a Shopaholic, coming soon to a theatre near you.)

March: Resort season, anyone? (Dior Bow Sandal)

April: Keep telling yourself that.

May: I can't believe I haven't seen anyone since October, but here goes: At Prune for Sunday brunch, at the next table, Top Chef Stephanie Izard. *

June: If you must be married ocean-side, I suppose bare feet are de rigueur, but in case there's a painful stone walkway involved, why not slip in and out of these Gucci thongs.

July: These will definitely go with my tan and my Expose your Toes polish.

August: In a meta moment, I went searching desperately through the Boudoir* for this hilarious bit (30 Rock is a ripoff of the Muppet Show, discuss.), only to learn that I had merely posted it to Facebook, and not actually blogged it.

September: Fall is in the air, and the FG thinks you should pre-order these boots.

: This seems somehow an updated version of something I imagine on a Brontë heroine.

November: Vote with your feet - Doesn't this remind you of Election Day bunting?**

December: I'm off to London for the weekend (again), but I know you're all panicking about what to get everyone from your special someone to the colleagues you're paired with via Secret Santa.***

*Thank the stars that brunch made at least one appearance!

** Clearly the first of the month was good for Shuesday. Again.

*** Yes, I cheated here. It's not /all/ about the shoes!